Thursday, October 21, 2004

Movies in the Classroom

A recent decision has teachers up in arms regarding the approval for movies in classrooms. According to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Anoka-Hennepin school district now has to have all PG-13 and unrated movies reviewed by assigned committees before they are allowed in the classroom. And the teachers are having a fit. It begs the question....why? "Teachers say the policy not only limits what they show in class, it also loads them down with more paperwork. And they say it infringes on their prerogative to decide what's best for students." In 9th grade, we watched the movie, Romeo & Juliet. The film is excellent; however there is some moderate nudity in it. Nothing horrific, but it is involved in a love scene. Appropriate? Isn't that up to the parents to decide? Or have we handed our children over to teachers without any say? Unless they are going to carefully edit the movies they choose, they need to get approval. More than that, if there is a question if the movie will be appropriate, then perhaps it just shouldn't be shown. Teachers have my respect - it is not a job I would choose, and I admire their dedication and the trials with which they have to put up. They are not the gods of education, though, nor do they have the right to "decide what's best for students" without limit. PG-13 movies are very racy, as of late, and since we all differ on what is appropriate and moral, more than just one person, one teacher, should have a say.